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Out of the New York underground Swans created dark, abrasive, murky, slowed-down noise rock – their depraved lyrics stalked and disturbed throughout the 80s and 90s. After 15 years of touring and constant productivity Swans disbanded in 1997.
Talking about his decision to reactivate the project Michael Gira says:
“there was a point a few years ago during a particular show when I was on tour with Angels Of Light, with Akron/Family serving as the backing band. It was during the song The Provider. Seth’s guitar was sustaining one open chord (very loudly), rising to a peak, then crashing down again in a rhythm that could have been the equivalent of a deep and soulful act of copulation. The whole band swayed with this arc. Really was like riding waves of sound. I thought right then, “You know, Michael, Swans wasn’t so bad after all…” . Ha ha! It brought back – in a flood – memories, or maybe not memories, more a tangible re-emersion in the sensation of Swans music rushing through my body in waves, lifting me up towards what, I can only assume, will be my only experience of heaven.”
The recent reactivation of the band – with the line up of: Michael Gira; guitar, voice, mendicant friar act (original Swans), Norman Westberg: guitar (original Swans), Christoph Hahn: guitar (mid-period Swans and most Angels of Light ), Phil Puleo; drums, percussion, dulcimer etc etc (final Swans tour and most of Angels of Light), Chris Pravdica: bass and gadgets (Flux Information Sciences / Services/ Gunga Din) and Thor Harris: drums, percussion, vibes, dulcimer, curios, keys, etc… (Angels of Light, now also with Shearwater) – promises to be as formidable as the early, brutal and growling noise albums they made their mark with.